As one of the most prominent pickups in American truck history, the Chevy Silverado and its counterpart, the GMC Sierra, are two of the most popular light-duty trucks on the market. Although one is produced by Chevrolet and the other by GMC, both trucks fall under the General Motors umbrella.
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When comparing the Silverado vs Sierra, it’s easy to think they are one and the same. That being said, the two trucks will share many similarities when it comes to the drivetrain and the overall appearance. However, they still have their fair share of differences. Before they became standalone trucks in 1999, both the Silverado and Sierra were trim levels for the Chevy C/K line of trucks, which also included GMC counterparts as well. Competing with the Ford F-150, the Silverado and the Sierra have maintained their reputation over the years, receiving numerous awards for both reliability and resale value.
Silverado vs Sierra: Exterior
When it comes to the exterior of the Silverado and the Sierra, they look nearly identical. Although the body styles are very similar, the front-end design for the Sierra and Silverado are quite different. The Silverado has the classic Chevy bowtie emblem on the grille while the Sierra features the distinct GMC emblem. Depending on the model of Silverado or Sierra, the grilles can differentiate for certain editions. Besides the disparities in the grille design, the Sierra and Silverado have different headlights, bumpers, and fog lights. So while the two trucks look nearly identical from the side, they are easy to distinguish due to their unique front ends.
The Silverado also has a much sleeker profile while the Sierra is more square, giving it a boxy appearance. The Sierra has a bold grille design, with a cutout right above the grille in the center. Square wheel openings with accent moldings give the Sierra an aggressive stance. The GMC Sierra features C-shaped headlights, which makes it easy to distinguish from the Chevy Silverado. Just as the GMC Sierra has a menacing grille and front end, so does the Chevy Silverado. While the Silverado is not as boxy as the Sierra, it’s still got that masculine, aggressive look. For 2018, Chevy came out with the Centennial Silverado, a special edition truck to mark 100 years of Chevy truck history. What’s special about the Centennial Edition is that it includes Heritage bowtie emblems, Centennial door badges, a spray-in bedliner with heritage bowties, Centennial badging on floor liners, and 22-inch silver-painted wheels with chrome inserts.
Both the Silverado and Sierra offer regular cab, double cab, and crew cab body styles in addition to four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive options. Box sizes for both trucks come in a short 5’8’’ box, a standard 6’6’’ box, and a long 8’ box. LED headlights and fog lights are also available as an add-on component for both the Silverado and GMC Sierra. IntelliBeam technology is an additional option for the headlights, which will automatically turn on high beams when it gets dark enough. The high beams will automatically turn off when sensing an approaching vehicle’s headlights or a preceding vehicle’s taillights, as well as when the vehicle is traveling less than 12 miles per hour. CornerStep rear bumpers allow you to easily load and unload cargo from the truck bed. When comparing the exterior appearance of the Sierra vs Silverado, the two are very similar but can be distinguished from their unique front ends.
Silverado vs Sierra: Interior
As the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra resemble each other closely when it comes to the exterior, the interior is almost identical as well. The Silverado High Country and the Sierra Denali are the two luxury trims for each truck and are packed with top-of-the-line tech. A wireless charging system, 8-inch touchscreen with voice navigation, Bose sound system, 4G LTE or Wi-Fi hotspot, multiple USB ports, and a 110-volt power outlet are just some of the many tech features included in both trucks. A large center console provides extra room for storage. The Chevy Silverado is more of a working truck, while the GMC Sierra is marketed more as a luxurious truck, so it will have a somewhat more comfortable and quiet interior.
2018 Chevy Silverado High Country Interior
2018 GMC Sierra Denali Interior
Silverado vs Sierra: Performance
When it comes to performance, both the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are going to have similar handling and ride quality as both trucks are equipped with equivalent powertrain components. For 2018, there are three different engine options that are available for both the Silverado and Sierra. A 4.3L V6 engine provides best-in-class torque of 305 lb.-ft. while putting out 285 horsepower, offering a towing capacity of 7,600 lbs. The next size up is the 5.3L V8 engine capable of producing 355 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque along with an 11,100 lbs. towing capacity. If that’s not enough, there’s also a 6.2L V8 engine option that produces a whopping 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, capable of towing 12,500 lbs. For the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine, it can come paired with eAssist Powertrain technology for certain models. Utilizing mild hybrid technology, the eAssist Powertrain increases fuel efficiency by 12% by using start/stop technology, active aero shutters, and regenerative braking.
For the 2018 Chevy Silverado High Country and GMC Sierra Denali, the specs are basically the same. That being said, the Denali still has a few additional features that do not come standard with the Silverado High Country. Both feature Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which enhances vehicle responsiveness in altering road conditions. The shock absorbers are electronically controlled and contain a magnetized fluid that provides incredibly fast response times and is extremely precise. Check out some of the specs below for the two trucks!
2018 Chevy Silverado High Country vs 2018 GMC Sierra Denali: Specs
2018 Chevy Silverado High Country
2018 GMC Sierra Denali
5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine
5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine
16 city/22 highway
16 city/22 highway
2WD or 4WD
2WD or 4WD
8-speed automatic transmission
8-speed automatic transmission
Magnetic Ride Control
Magnetic Ride Control
20’’ x 9’’ chrome wheels
20’’ x 9’’ ultra bright machined aluminum wheels
Max Towing Capacity
Silverado vs Sierra: Similarities
Square wheel wells: One easily distinguishable difference between Ford trucks and Chevy trucks is the square wheel well. Both the Silverado and Sierra feature box-like wheel wells versus Ford’s rounded wheel wells.
Powertrain: As they are both manufactured by General Motors, both the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are going to have equivalent engine options and mechanical components.
Ride Quality: Since both trucks are equivalent when it comes to performance, the ride quality will be comparable. Along with the ride quality, handling should also be relatively equal for both the Sierra and Silverado.
Towing Capacity: The Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra can tow up to 12,500 lbs., depending on the engine size.
Silverado vs Sierra: Differences
Front-end design: One of the most easily recognizable differences between the Sierra and Silverado is the front end. Along with the bumpers, headlights, and fog lights, the grilles on the two trucks vary greatly. The Sierra has a boxier front end, while the Silverado has a slightly sleeker appearance.
Price: The starting price for the Chevy Silverado is $28,285. The GMC Sierra, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive with a starting price of $29,000.
Comfort & Quality: The GMC Sierra is known for being a more luxurious truck than the Chevy Silverado. While they share many of the same features, the Silverado is labeled as the more affordable truck while the GMC Sierra is a bit fancier and features premium materials.
Branding: This may seem like an obvious point, but to Chevy enthusiasts or GMC fanatics, this is an important aspect to consider. While they may closely resemble each other, at the end of the day one is a GMC and one is a Chevy.
Silverado vs Sierra: Which One Should You Buy?
When debating between a Chevy Silverado vs GMC Sierra, it really comes down to preference. Most people typically tend to prefer one brand over another. If you’re a diehard Chevy enthusiast, then the Silverado is right up your alley. In the event that you’re a GMC loyalist, then the Sierra would suit your fancy more than a Silverado. If you don’t have a preference when it comes to brand, then you might want to consider the price. The Silverado is a bit cheaper than the Sierra, especially when you’re looking at the luxury High Country and Denali trims. But if luxury is what you are after, then the GMC Sierra outranks the Silverado. Whether you buy a Silverado or Sierra, you can make your truck stand out from the rest with aftermarket parts from CJ Pony Parts. From Sierra and Silverado exhaust systems, cold air intakes, grilles, and LED lighting solutions, CJ’s has a huge selection to choose from! Most parts will fit interchangeably for the Sierra and the Silverado. Be sure to check out the CJ Pony Parts website so you can deck out your new Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra with the best aftermarket parts!
The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra are nearly identical and offer very similar package options. Performance, both off-road and on-road, is identical. The GMC Sierra is slightly more expensive because of its luxury materials and has a quieter and more comfortable interior.
Silverado and Sierra have a towing capacity of up to 12,500 pounds
Sierra is boxier than the Silverado
Sierra has more comfortable interior
About the Author
Alison is the author of over 100 articles on CJ’s resource center. She’s used her inquisitive nature to help millions of readers learn more about their favorite vehicles. Read full bio →
Over the years, GMC and Chevrolet have worked side by side to create some of the best pickup trucks in America. The two main contenders are the Chevy Silverado and its GMC counterpart, the Sierra. But what is the difference between the Silverado and Sierra? While they may be under different nameplates, these two trucks have been produced side by side since 1999. Even though they are both manufactured by General Motors, the Silverado and Sierra have their own unique style that differentiates them.